from a buyer's perspective

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jtyler
Member is a Diamond contributor and has 25,000 - 199,999 Photo downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Illustration downloadsExclusive
Posted Thu Dec 6, 2012 7:05AM

I wholeheartedly agree with abzee and jpsdk. No offense to you Lobo, we know it is not your problem to solve and you are just the messenger. But surely you can see how we are disbelieving? How many, many, many times have we been down this road with the same complaints from buyers and contributors alike? And yet, here we are, many, many months down the road still with the same problems, slow site, bad searches, messed up BM, no loupe, etc. Since IS/Getty are making increasing amounts each year with diminishing royalties of 5% or more to thousands and thousands of contributers every year, one would think that at least some of these very long standing problems would be solved.


If they fix the site, there is no need for time to be spent trying to tactfully explain almost nothing so our "secrets" don't get out. Guess what, according to many people, the "secret is out - IS is losing it's place swiftly.


I am not trying to be acrimonious. nor beat a dead horse, and neither was the OP. We are all deadly serious about this Action needs to be seen quickly or what little faith and pride we had in this place will sadly dwindle away. It already has for many people. I am most anxious to see how quickly even one of these problems gets solved.


You said they are listening. Thank you.
DanielBendjy
Member is a Diamond contributor and has 25,000 - 199,999 Photo downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Video downloadsExclusiveExclusive iStockphoto Videographer
Posted Thu Dec 6, 2012 11:28AM
The site is noticeably faster on my end right now.
craftvision
Member is a Diamond contributor and has 25,000 - 199,999 Photo downloadsMember is a Bronze contributor and has 250 - 1,249 Video downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 125 Audio downloadsExclusiveExclusive iStockphoto VideographerExclusive iStockphoto Audio Artist
Posted Fri Dec 7, 2012 4:50AM

Posted By DanielBendjy:
The site is noticeably faster on my end right now.


Good start! extremely fast... thanks
Now we need the BM sorted and zoom back
damircudic
Member is a Diamond contributor and has 25,000 - 199,999 Photo downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Illustration downloadsExclusive
Posted Fri Dec 7, 2012 5:02AM
Yes, it's very fast last 2-3 days. Great job. Just fix the BM and bring the zoom back!
Lobo
This user has the power to wield the BanHammer, a weapon forged in the fires of hell for that get-off-my-planet quality you can't get anywhere else. You betta reckonize.Forum Moderator
Posted Fri Dec 7, 2012 6:48AM

Posted By craftvision:

Posted By DanielBendjy:
The site is noticeably faster on my end right now.


Good start! extremely fast... thanks
Now we need the BM sorted and zoom back :-)


Posted By damircudic:
Yes, it's very fast last 2-3 days. Great job. Just fix the BM and bring the zoom back!

Come on over here to the BM discussion, we will have some responses to the communities questions later today:

BM Discussion: Dec 4, 2012

Let me tell you about the Zoom Feature:

It's most certainly coming back. We have been doing our best to keep members up to date on this feature. I reckon we have mentioned it in just about every Newsletter and or update since September. I appreciate that the feature has been taking a considerable amount of time to get back to the file close up pages but we are almost there.

Our latest update related to zoom was provided in the last newsletter. I've added both the link to the newsletter and the Zoom Quote from the newletter:

Newsletter: Nov 29

Image Zoom:?We know this particular feature has generated a lot of attention. We are also fully aware of the importance contributors place on this coming back as soon as possible. Our Technology team continues to work on the Image Zoom rebuild and have estimated the return of Zoom for no later than mid-December. [note still on track] We appreciate your continued patience while we work to ensure we have everything in order before re-launch.??Let us explain why Zoom had to go away for a short period after the Cash Sales launch. For the Cash Sales project we changed the File Closeup page to the extent that it needed to be rewritten from scratch. Zoom also needed a rewrite from scratch. When Cash Sales was ready and the Zoom rewrite was not, we decided to go live without Zoom. We understand that this is concerning, but can only reassure you that thousands of happy new customers are buying in Cash today, and thousands of customers who were not great fans of our credit system are back in the fold, so this has been good for our business overall. While we’d ideally not have to make these tradeoffs between important features, we sometimes do.


(Edited on 2012-12-07 06:49:00 by Lobo)
Lobo
This user has the power to wield the BanHammer, a weapon forged in the fires of hell for that get-off-my-planet quality you can't get anywhere else. You betta reckonize.Forum Moderator
Posted Fri Dec 7, 2012 7:29AM
One other item in the thread that should maybe get some attention is in relation to pricing. I've added the OPs comments below with a response crafted by a number of us over this week:

Price

Over the last year or two, prices have rocketed at iStock. Whilst it is true that my clients are happy to spend what it costs to have an image they really like (and it is still a lot cheaper than the old Rights Managed only days) there is a limit. I am sure that any further price increases would push iStock out of the market compared to competitor sites. The real point here is that if one has to face moans about pricing from clients as well has having a really difficult experience in using the iStock website (as above) in the first place, I would imaging that iStock will start to lose lots of its most important and regular customers.


Obviously no one can argue that prices have risen pretty dramatically at iStock, this is primarily a result of the increase in the quality of the content being created and our attempt to get fair market value for that content for iStock and it's contributors. It's a fair comment that this has been pushed about as far as it can be and that the higher priced content is not going to be attractive to all customers.

We face a challenging situation where many of the contributors at iStock have become more professionalized over the years and create amazing imagery, and our customers have become more diverse. Some customer groups need high production value or highly creative imagery and have larger budgets, others are extremely price sensitive and less concerned about the sophistication of the content. We continue to try to find better ways of exposing the right content to the right customers through search tools offered on the site, and in some cases using data we have about those customers to get them to the content that suits them. First impressions can be very important in some of these situations – whether that’s to price, visual appeal or creativity - so it's an ongoing process to ensure what we show each customer keeps them at iStock and helps them find the content they need at the price they're comfortable with. 

That's a long way of saying we agree that pricing on some of our content is at the higher end of the spectrum, we feel this is justified by the quality of the content, but we don't have plans to radically increase them from here. 

(Edited on 2012-12-07 07:33:08 by Lobo)
Imgorthand
Member is a Gold contributor and has 10,000 - 24,999 Photo downloadsExclusive
Posted Fri Dec 7, 2012 7:43AM
Sounds very reasonable to me, thank you for this info!
jtyler
Member is a Diamond contributor and has 25,000 - 199,999 Photo downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Illustration downloadsExclusive
Posted Fri Dec 7, 2012 7:52AM

Nice to hear definitive plans and/or serious consideration is being given to the problems. I would dearly love to see this place be back on top without continuing problems. On the contributor's side, I am hoping that new files get more exposure. At least 75% of my sales are before 2009. Restarting recent additions again would be very helpful.


Thanks for the information.
swilmor
Member is a Diamond contributor and has 25,000 - 199,999 Photo downloads
Posted Fri Dec 7, 2012 7:58AM
Thanks for continuing this dialog and providing further clarification Lobo.
jjneff
Member is a Bronze contributor and has 250 - 2,499 Photo downloadsMember is a Diamond contributor and has 12,500 - 99,999 Video downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 125 Audio downloadsExclusiveExclusive iStockphoto VideographerExclusive iStockphoto Audio Artist
Posted Fri Dec 7, 2012 8:07AM
I think iStock has done well by offering different levels of pricing. The Value collection needs to be pushed over ThinkStock. I see adds for ThinkStock all over the place but if those adds were to say "iStock Value Collection" then we would have much better up sale on this site.
mlwinphotoCLOSED
Member is a Bronze contributor and has 250 - 2,499 Photo downloads
Posted Fri Dec 7, 2012 8:43AM
One of the reasons I decided to become exclusive here is because of the higher pricing structure. 
crossbrain66
Member is a Silver contributor and has 2,500 - 9,999 Photo downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Illustration downloadsExclusive
Posted Fri Dec 7, 2012 8:43AM

Since the introduction of the price-range-slider the different pricepoint are no more a problem.


Maybe some content of the Getty-collections which go into Agency is not always worthy of that pricepoint.
888Photography
Member is a contributor and has less than 250 Photo downloads
Posted Fri Dec 7, 2012 9:58AM
It's all well and good that iStock wants to get "fair market value" for the images on their site, but how does that help the photographer whose pictures are being sold for $19.00 (large file) but only sees $2.35 of it? I have a photo that's been downloaded 8 times, 4 of them large files. So those large files alone means iStock made $76.00 off of my photo, and I only see $9.54 from it. Doesn't seem right.
cmannphoto
Member is a Gold contributor and has 10,000 - 24,999 Photo downloadsExclusive
Posted Fri Dec 7, 2012 10:05AM
Posted By 888Photography:
It's all well and good that iStock wants to get "fair market value" for the images on their site, but how does that help the photographer whose pictures are being sold for $19.00 (large file) but only sees $2.35 of it? I have a photo that's been downloaded 8 times, 4 of them large files. So those large files alone means iStock made $76.00 off of my photo, and I only see $9.54 from it. Doesn't seem right.



Because it was probably bought with Credits and NOT by a credit card


 

(Edited on 2012-12-07 10:06:19 by cmannphoto)
sjlocke
Member is a Black Diamond contributor and has more than 200,000 Photo downloadsMember is a Gold contributor and has 5,000 - 12,499 Video downloadsMember is a Bronze contributor and has 125 - 1,249 Audio downloadsMember is a Silver contributor and has 2,500 - 9,999 Illustration downloadsExclusiveExclusive iStockphoto IllustratorExclusive iStockphoto Videographer
Posted Fri Dec 7, 2012 10:11AM

Posted By 888Photography:
It's all well and good that iStock wants to get "fair market value" for the images on their site, but how does that help the photographer whose pictures are being sold for $19.00 (large file) but only sees $2.35 of it? I have a photo that's been downloaded 8 times, 4 of them large files. So those large files alone means iStock made $76.00 off of my photo, and I only see $9.54 from it. Doesn't seem right.


This isn't the place to argue that your royalty percentage is too low.
Box5
Member is a Bronze contributor and has 250 - 2,499 Photo downloadsExclusive
Posted Fri Dec 7, 2012 10:17AM
Posted By Lobo:
One other item in the thread that should maybe get some attention is in relation to pricing. I've added the OPs comments below with a response crafted by a number of us over this week:


Price

Over the last year or two, prices have rocketed at iStock. Whilst it is true that my clients are happy to spend what it costs to have an image they really like (and it is still a lot cheaper than the old Rights Managed only days) there is a limit. I am sure that any further price increases would push iStock out of the market compared to competitor sites. The real point here is that if one has to face moans about pricing from clients as well has having a really difficult experience in using the iStock website (as above) in the first place, I would imaging that iStock will start to lose lots of its most important and regular customers.



Obviously no one can argue that prices have risen pretty dramatically at iStock, this is primarily a result of the increase in the quality of the content being created and our attempt to get fair market value for that content for iStock and it's contributors. It's a fair comment that this has been pushed about as far as it can be and that the higher priced content is not going to be attractive to all customers.

We face a challenging situation where many of the contributors at iStock have become more professionalized over the years and create amazing imagery, and our customers have become more diverse. Some customer groups need high production value or highly creative imagery and have larger budgets, others are extremely price sensitive and less concerned about the sophistication of the content. We continue to try to find better ways of exposing the right content to the right customers through search tools offered on the site, and in some cases using data we have about those customers to get them to the content that suits them. First impressions can be very important in some of these situations – whether that’s to price, visual appeal or creativity - so it's an ongoing process to ensure what we show each customer keeps them at iStock and helps them find the content they need at the price they're comfortable with. 

That's a long way of saying we agree that pricing on some of our content is at the higher end of the spectrum, we feel this is justified by the quality of the content, but we don't have plans to radically increase them from here. 

(Edited on 2012-12-07 07:33:08 by Lobo)

Really good answer to the price concern. "we don't have plans to radically increase (prices) from here," should ease some buyer's concerns. I'm glad that iStock created the price slider so that price sensitive buyers can have more control over the content they see in their searches. It also has to be stated that the Royalty Free license gives customers great flexibility in how they can use the images they liscense. One licensing fee allows a client the opportunity to use an image worldwide, forever for a reasonable fee. This is a major change that has brought down prices of stock for image buyers over the last decade.

I also agree with the comment above that some of the content in the premium collections is not worthy of the higher price point. This is especially true of images imported from Getty Collections. Some images in the main collection have quality and production values superior to images in premium collections.
Lobo
This user has the power to wield the BanHammer, a weapon forged in the fires of hell for that get-off-my-planet quality you can't get anywhere else. You betta reckonize.Forum Moderator
Posted Fri Dec 7, 2012 11:16AM
It's a fair point that not all images are at the right price; that includes some of the Getty photos in TAC and some imagery across every price level and collection. We agree there is work for us to do on matching images to optimal pricing. Some of this sorts itself out in the end – if something isn't priced right no one will buy it – but it's definitely not a great customer experience. Point taken.
Pressahead
Posted Fri Dec 7, 2012 11:30AM
I have to say that I am overwhelmed, humbled and very impressed with the many responses to my "OP". Thank You everyone for your comments.


There is clearly a lot of 'heart' within the contributor body and I do feel for all of those that have been affected by the apparent downturn in sales recently (which I was not aware of) due largely I am sure to the site problems. I wish you all well for 2013.


Lobo, thank you for your recent responses, I am particularly reassured about your comments on pricing. One thing I have to agree with in what you have said is about the incredible quality of images that iStock Photographers continue to generate.


If you were to grant me a seasonal wish, it would be that you kindly communicate back to iStock Management (and I am sure that I speak for buyers everywhere) to please do not lose site of the fact that your greatest assets are in fact your contributing Photographers and Artists. Please do not take them for granted, especially those that have helped to mke iStock such a great Photo Library over the years, communicate with them effectively (very important and clearly lacking recently from all of the comments), listen to their views and take them seriously. I say all of this with a high degree of self interest because without them, we would have nothing wonderful to buy and use for our clients and iStock would probably cease to exist.


Please forgive my impertinence, but as stated before, I just really would like to see the iStock that I have always been fond of get back to where it was before.

(Edited on 2012-12-07 13:54:51 by Pressahead)
cmannphoto
Member is a Gold contributor and has 10,000 - 24,999 Photo downloadsExclusive
Posted Fri Dec 7, 2012 11:42AM
Thanks again Pressahead for your comments and views
RapidEye
Member is a Black Diamond contributor and has more than 200,000 Photo downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 125 Audio downloadsExclusiveExclusive iStockphoto Audio Artist
Posted Fri Dec 7, 2012 1:53PM
Yes, many thanks again to Pressahead and also to Lobo and his backroom people for giving us the company's views. This seems to be the beginning of the first frank and civil dialogue between admin and contributors for quite some time. Let's hope it continues.
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